The snow finally came yesterday and it continued snowing today so we now have about 15cm covering everything. Julian Bell and I defied the snow and went searching for Ivory or if we were unlucky maybe just an Iceland Gull (is- eller grønnlandsmåke). It turned out we were very unlucky as, believe it or, not the Drøbak area failed to turn up either of them! Instead we had just small numbers of Herring Gulls in a quite bewildering array of plumages – gulls really could be interesting if I just allowed myself...... and a 1st winter Great Black-backed Gull doing its best to look like a “classic” Yellow-legged Gull. A few of the Herring Gulls did have so much snow settling on their back and wings that they looked a bit white-winged but by then I was getting desperate.
We did see a quite distant White-tailed Eagle (havørn) which is the first time I have seen one of the breeding birds from Håøya despite quite a few trips to this area over the years.
Back in Oslo I had an idea that the snow would have pushed a number of new birds into the Botanical Gardens. Quite the opposite seems to have happened with a marked reduction having occurred. Still the three Two-barred Crossbills (båndkorsnebb) which spent nearly all the time silently feeding in a large larch, 12 Waxwings (sidensvans), singles of Hawfinch (kjernebiter) and Chaffinch (bokfink) and an impressive young Goshawk (hønsehauk) which came looking for a snack.
|female Two-barred Crossbill feeding on larches in the Oslo Botanical Gardens. Surprisingly difficuly to find but they would cause snow to fall down everynow and again giving away their position|
|the crossbills dropped into the berry tree for just a few minutes and spent most of their time high in the cone laden larch trees|